View Full Version : Is this worth homebrewing?

Realms of Chaos
2009-10-03, 12:22 AM
Forgive me for posting this here but I honestly have no idea if this idea is worthy of pursuing or not. It popped into my head and seems like a decent idea but if nobody else would have interest in it, there's little point of posting it up for my own benefit (I haven't even created it/them yet so I'll also be saving myself alot of work if it is not worth it).

The basic idea is simple: a series of creatures that basically exist as a manifest forms of madness. Many of them possess at least a passing resemblance to the beings they once were. However, like the thoon infiltrator, they would have set stats rather than being a set of templates. Though some would be incorporeal figments of the imagination or look like undead, all would be aberrations.

General ideas on the table:

I'll call these beings Madspawn
As stated, all madspawn are aberrations
they are attracted to places of great madness and tend to remain where they are for awhile after transformation.
None (or nearly none) would be able to communicate intelligibly but all are able to communicate perfectly with each other.
All madspawn can mentally dominate any and all other madspawn that are weaker than themselves.
All madspawn have an aura that makes the world act in odd ways (creatures become depressed, can walk on walls, gravity is doubled, etc.)
After staying in a general area long enough (1d4 months?), a madspawn can choose a single 10 cubic foot area as their "den of madness". Every 1d4 weeks(?), the den expands by 10 cubic feet. In a den of madness, the madspawn's aura is active and cosmetic changes to the world are made as well.
All madspawn have an aura of madness effect that activates when entering a madspawn's aura and every hour spend in a den of madness. Each failed save deals 1d4 + a cumulative 1 Wisdom damage with each failure.
Any creature reduced to 0 wisdom by their aura of madness gains a template that makes them obediant to all madspawn and capable of communicating with them. Furthermore, even if a madspawn is slain, their den of madness only goes away 1 month after all creatures with the template within 1 mile are slain. Creatures with the template can be made to remember their previous live and regain a bit of sanity but only temporarily.
Any madspawn, with enough work, can turn a creature with the template into another madspawn.
I'll make a spell that lets evil wizards turn people into madspawn and another that lets you communicate and dominate them as if you were a stronger madspawn.

Concepts for specific madspawn

a creature that is all but completely cracked mentally. It screams when it sees people (causing stacking penalty to attacks against madspawn), can climb walls, and attacks against it cause empathic feedback, taking the form of nonlethal damage to the attacker.
a sado-masochistic creature that is incredibly difficult to kill and causes people to fly into a rage.
A mass of several creatures fused into one body (and not in any logical way), completely immobile but possessing an impressive array of spell-like abilities.
A creature that acts twice per round and that can split into a swarm like a silthilar when in danger.
An apparently comatose creature with many defenses that moves slowly and can remove their defenses for temporary mobiity. When slain, it appears in your dreams the next time you sleep and fights you alone.
An incorporeal creature that steals creatures senses by touching them (you see and hear through its body). Useful minion and infuriating enemy.
A creature that appears normal and sane as a baiting mechanism (like an anglerfish) before unfolding itself into a deadly and noneuclidean form.
A single creature with a ginormous cranium that basically makes the world one giant M.C. Escher painting. (the most powerful madspawn).
An "imaginary friend" with selective invisibility that aids people before leading them to their doom.
a dessicated creature that is capable of skinning dead creatures and wearing their flesh to imitate them.
Random golems formed from the scenery of dens of madness, formed incidentally rather than by design.
Any more requests?


Far Realms adventures
populating abandoned asylums with something other than undead
something other than undead/mindflayers that may swarm and take over the world
psychological campaigns
horror campaigns

Also, to help introduce these creatures, I made one of the short stories that I always do using the traditional DnD characters (Jozan, Regdar, Lidda, etc.). I think that I did a pretty good job but it ended up being much longer than I had anticipated. Feel free to read and comment if you want.
The door burst inwards, split in half with a woodchopper’s axe. Regdar took a quick look beyond as he softly panted. Beyond the doorway was the outside world, a few trees and shrubs resting between him and the base of a mountain. A small voice of reason in his mind screamed out that this couldn’t be real, that the same door had led into a closet not ten minutes earlier. The rest of his mind told that voice to keep quiet. After all that he had seen, nothing seemed impossible any more.
Regdar reach down and ripped out a few blades of grass, just to make sure. They felt real and that was enough for him. Regdar ran over to the bushes, his fallen elven companion slung over one shoulder. Crouching in the bush, Regdar squelched a scream as he was pricked by a few dozen thorns.
A moment later, Jozan was following after him, a comatose Lidda held in his arms. Jozan made a small yelp as he entered the bushes. For what seemed like ages, there was only the sound of panting as Regdar and Jozan caught their breaths. Jozan took out his waterskin and took a long draught through a hole that the bush had pricked in it.
As Jozan drank, Regdar tried to piece together just what had happened. It had started so normally. Bandits in the woods, the townspeople had claimed. When they had set out, nothing seemed wrong…at least until the ambush.
Jozan handed Regdar the waterskin, sealing the hole with one finger. “Thanks,” he whispered. Regdar wasn’t sure if his friend could hear him but he sure as hell wasn’t going to speak any louder than that. At least not while those… things might be looking for him.
The ambush wasn’t any problem. They weren’t even bandits. They were just a couple of loonies. Regdar and his allies took them out easily. They even found the missing goods and people, or at least, what was left of them.
As Regdar emptied the waterskin and handed it back to Jozan, his companion leaned in and whispered, “Do you think it’s safe?”.
“No idea,” said Regdar in a whisper as he looked around. There was no sign of movement in the doorway and nothing stirred in the surrounding area. That didn’t mean it was safe, however. “by the way, remind me to kill you later for taking those things back with us”
“It’s what Pelor would’ve wanted…” Jozan started, his voice a bit defensive.
“Sure it is. I’m sure Pelor finds this hilarious.” Regdar said, a bit louder this time. That had been a bit harsher than Regdar had intended to sound. Jozan didn’t respond.
Although the stolen goods were largely intact, the missing people had been driven utterly mad. Jozan didn’t have the proper spells to help them so he suggested bringing them back into town. The townspeople, however, were just glad to know that nobody died. Each person went back to their family and the town treated the companions to a fine feast. In their eyes, things were getting back to normal. If only they had known the truth.
“Sorry,” Regdar apologized.
“Don’t worry,” Jozan replied, “we’re both a bit tense right now.”
Regdar couldn’t help but grin a bit “A bit tense. Where have you been?”
Jozan gave a small shrug as he started clearing out a small space in the brush. Regdar didn’t like the noise it was making and didn’t know what it was for but decided that he owed his friend the benefit of the doubt.
The mission taken care of, the townspeople convinced everyone to stay for awhile. There was a festival to occur in a couple weeks. Jozan wanted to heal the villagers, Mialee wanted to craft some items, and even Lidda had fun abusing her celebrity status for awhile. Looking back, Regdar was the only one who wanted to keep going. He had actually been bored.
Jozan rested Lidda down in the small area he had cleared and started checking her over. He looked into her eyes, checked her pulse, and went through the entire routine that Regdar had seen dozens of times in the past. When the work was done, Jozan remained quiet.
“Well?” Regdar asked.
“She’s not in good shape,” Jozan said, frowning, “but she isn’t gone like the others. I’ll be able to help her after I get some rest.”
Gone like the others. Something about that sounded so permanent. Regdar’s eyes flickered over to Mialee for a moment, to the bindings around her limbs and gag in her mouth. “I guess this must be some of that halfling luck she brags about. How many of those things did she kill, anyways?”
“She claimed to kill around forty so I’d say twelve or so sounds right,” the corners of Jozan’s mouth curved upwards, if just barely, “You heard what she said. Those monsters were just begging to have their spines snapped.”
Regdar couldn’t help smiling as well. Ironically, it was only in such times of peril that he could appreciate that thief’s wit. “Yeah, twelve sounds about right.”
The two companions fell silent once more but Jozan’s words still echoed in Regdar’s head. Gone like the others.
When Jozan tried to heal those that had gone insane, he didn’t have any luck. He tried every means at his disposal but continued failing. If Regdar hadn’t been drinking himself half-to-death each night, he might’ve smelled something bad on the horizon. He remembered that Mialee had also tried helping but still no luck. They started spending all of their time in the library, looking for something they could do. Meanwhile, the townspeople delayed the festival. Everyone agreed that this matter should be sorted out first. The festival never arrived.
A horrifically gaunt figure appeared in front of Regdar, gazing into the bush at him with those horrid red eyes. Its nude body was a mess of scars and still-bleeding wounds. Running on adrenaline and instinct, Regdar instantly reached for his axe.
“What are you doing?” hissed Jozan in his ears.
The figure was gone. If it had ever been there, it had vanished in the blink of an eye. Regdar wasn’t sure which idea scared him more: that some of those monsters may become invisible or that he may have imagined it. Extending his head a bit from the bush, Regdar scanned the ground for footprints. He couldn’t see anything but it was too dark for him to be sure.
“What are you doing?” Jozan repeated.
“Nothing,” Regdar replied, taking his spot in the bush once more, “forget it.”
A month or so after the mission, strange things started to happen in town. There were places in town where plants grew exceedingly large, where gravity followed different rules, where people couldn’t fall asleep. There were other reports going around, too many to count. The worst of it were reports that people had started disappearing again. With Mialee and Jozan busy in the library, Lidda and Regdar looked through the town.
As weeks went by without success, more and more areas began to warp and deform. It was as if reality had given up on the town altogether. It wasn’t long before Lidda and Regdar started finding missing people, however. That was how it was learned that the madness was spreading.
“Spreading to me, too,” Regdar muttered, speaking far too softly for his companion to hear. Regdar wondered what would happen if he really went crazy like the others. He didn’t have half the mental fortitude Jozan possessed and though Jozan had been helping him with spells, they seemed to be doing less and less each time.
Jozan was wearing some pretty heavy armor and had been sleeping in it for the past few nights, as had Regdar. Jozan could carry Lidda with no trouble and might manage Mialee if he removed his armor. Regdar, however, was out of the picture. If the worst should happen and Jozan tried to save everyone, nobody would survive to tell others what had happened. Regdar gulped before taking a deep breath.
“Jozan. If something happens to me, don’t sacrifice yourself trying to save me. It’s not worth it.”
Jozan took a long, appraising look at Regdar. They stared at each other for what seemed like ages before he responded. “How vivid was it this time?”
“Very. It’s like how the townsfolk said it was. I thought it was real.” Regdar said.
Early on in the conflict, the sides were fairly even. It was a war to reclaim the city and reclaim what they had taken. The companions taught the townsfolk some basic fighting skills and they were putting them to good use. It even looked as though the war was won. Alas, the madness of the enemy was felt throughout the city. One by one, the townspeople started going mad. Although divine magic helped, the few clerics remaining weren’t enough. The insane enemies had their numbers bolstered by their very enemies. If that weren’t enough, an occasional person would become a stronger and more gruesome being of madness. It was one of these beings that drove Mialee insane.
Soon, what had been a war was turning into a siege as the townsfolk started losing ground. In the end, Regdar and his companions had locked themselves in the library near the center of town. When they ran out of supplies, the only sane choice remaining was to flee and find reinforcements, to tell someone about these spawn of madness.
Regdar looked at the mountain before him. It would be difficult to climb in his armor and while carrying Mialee. The climb would be nearly impossible for Jozan. Instead, they would have to travel around it, through the forest where he had seen the first of these mad beings.
“I don’t see anything,” Jozan whispered, “is it safe to go?”
Regdar took a quick look around. There was still no sign of movement beyond the door or in their surroundings. The creatures would’ve stopped looking for them by now… probably.
“It’s as safe as it’s ever going to be,” Regdar said as he broke into a run.
With a couple quick looks over his shoulder, Regdar saw Jozan picking Lidda up and hurrying after him. All that was left to do was run through the forest. As he prayed that they wouldn’t find trouble, Regdar had never felt luckier to be traveling with a holy man.

So, do you people of the boards think that I should make these thingamabobbers?

2009-10-03, 12:59 AM
This is seriously awesome and I love it. Homebrew them already.

2009-10-03, 01:34 AM
I agree these are quite awesome and i would love to see them, your story is pretty good too

2009-10-03, 03:19 AM
Why did you even think this WASN'T going to go over well? Brew it up already! No, stop reading this and go brewbrewbrewaway! :smallbiggrin:

Also, I like the idea. It seems neatish. /understatement

2009-10-03, 04:00 AM
Yea, this should be done, and judging of what I've seen you do earlier, you're the right one to do it!
One of the first things I thought after having read the first post was; This would be awesome combined with Xenotheurgy! Maybe a breach that transforms a being into a madspawn? Temporary at first, but with increasing duration and eventually permanent?

Anyway, great idea, would love to see it!

Dragon Elite
2009-10-03, 08:41 AM
Homebrew it! Now! I want my homebrew!:smallwink:

Edit: If you want, I can stat some of them up.

2009-10-03, 08:48 AM
Some aspects seem a bit over the top for me, but generally it sounds very good.

Lord Loss
2009-10-04, 10:57 AM
Dragon Elite and Realms Of Chaos... two of the forum's best and most active homebrewers...

One Epic Idea.

The Time Has Come!!! (http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k99h5aikc4g)

:smallbiggrin: This is going to be one Cool Project. (C'mon, admit you didn't see it coming) Good luck. I'll help, but, you know me! I have too much imagination and too little patience so... yeah!

Zeta Kai
2009-10-04, 11:05 AM
I must agree with thne general sentiment. It is a worthy project, one that will mesh well with your Xenotheurge. The forum has spoken.


Baron Corm
2009-10-04, 11:22 AM
Since madspawn need to be created from an existing creature, how was the first madspawn created? A rift from the Far Realm or something?

Honestly, I think that the whole "madspawn" thing is unnecessary. You seem to have some good ideas for creatures in that list (I especially like the S&M one), why not just stat them up as different aberrations from the Far Realm? We could certainly use more of those. The whole unifying theme thing could just become an unnecessary wad of flavor tacked on to otherwise interesting creatures.

2009-10-04, 12:33 PM
Flavor is rarely unnecessary, and the domination rules mean they are meant to be used together.

BTW: Yes, I want to see this project.

2009-10-04, 12:49 PM
I rarely care for stat blocks and abilities. I usually don't bother with reading them. To me, the stats are only additional information to help using the idea of the creature in a combat situation.